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7 indispensable tips for first time buyers

Here’s all the best advice you need.

SO, YOU’VE DECIDED to get onto the property ladder? Congratulations.

You’re probably well aware of how much needs to be done when buying a new house, from getting your mortgage sorted to finding the perfect property. To help you out in your quest, here are seven invaluable tips for first time buyers.

Go forth and purchase.

1. Go view loads of houses

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Seriously. Go see them all. Even before you’ve got your mortgage sorted. Most of the time, you’ve no idea what it is you’re actually looking for, what you’re prepared to settle on, or what your deal-breakers are.

Seeing places is the only way to really and truly get a handle on what you’re looking for, and you’ll soon become adept at spotting exactly what you love.

2. Have all your documentation ready

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To make life as easy as possible it helps to have everything ready before heading out mortgage-hunting.

At a bare minimum you need six months of bank statements, proof of address (utility bills dating back three months, for example), a certificate of income from your employer, and three months of pay slips.

3. Sort out your life insurance… stat

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It can take a lot longer than you think. And it’s really important to have. It gives your family a lump sum to pay off the mortgage should anything happen to you.

Different things can affect your premiums, for instance smoking literally doubles your life insurance premiums. So there’s another reason to think about quitting.

You absolutely, positively need to have life insurance to get your mortgage so don’t leave it to the last minute and risk missing out on the house of your dreams.

4. Medical evaluations can delay your mortgage

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If you have ever had a health condition of any kind, the mortgage underwriters may want independent medical check-ups and all sorts of documentation. It can take months to get it all together, so make a start on it sooner rather than later as it could hold up your mortgage and therefore your ability to buy your house.

5. Get a structural survey – the bank’s one is not enough

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Investigate your potential house as much as is humanly possible. Besides getting an independent structural evaluation to make sure that there is nothing amiss in the walls, floors or foundations, see if you can do a little historical research about the house, or the land it’s on.

You definitely don’t want to find out mid-winter you bought a property on a flood-plain just because you’re new to the area and didn’t know.

6. Don’t plan on doing building work immediately

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Unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s better to live in the place for a while and find out what exactly you want to do with the place – and more importantly, what needs doing, before jumping into massive renovations and extensions that you may not necessarily need.

7. Get a valuation last

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Your valuation only lasts two months, so if possible do it at the very last minute in case there are delays with contracts for some reason. Otherwise you’ll end up having to pay for another one.

And nobody wants that.

Have you any tips for first time buyers? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re thinking about buying a new house, make sure to check out KBC mortgages. KBC have the lowest rates around, fixed and variable rates, as well as up to 90% finance available. Check out the mortgage calculator to see how much you could qualify for. KBC – your kind of mortgage. 

Information based on current market rates correct as at 5th February 2016. Rates may vary over the term of a mortgage. To avail of the 0.2% extra discounted rate, you must mandate your salary and pay your new KBC mortgage by Direct Debit from your KBC Current Account. Offer excludes Buy to Lets. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Security and Insurance are required. The maximum mortgage is 90% of the property value. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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